If you haven’t seen it already, here is a clip of Randy Jones’ hit-from-behind on an unsuspecting Patrice Bergeron. After watching this clip, I don’t even know what to say. I mean, this hit was just plain ruthless. Jones followed through on the hit and buried Bergeron’s face directly into the end boards. Now, some people have said that this isn’t Jones’ game; that the defenseman doesn’t play this dirty style of play. Even so, that is irrelevant in my opinion. Past history of dirty play or not, this hit deserves a severe suspension. Think about it, Bergeron could have broken his neck. In my opinion, there is no dirtier hit in hockey than a hit-from-behind. It is cowardly, cheap and completely unnecessary. If the NHL wants to put an end to these ridiculous hits, they will give Jones at least a 15+ game suspension and set a strong precedent that would discourage other players from hitting-from-behind.
Here are the Eastern Conference morning papers:
- Fluto Shinwaza of the Boston Globe has an update on Bergeron’s injury status in this morning’s paper. The hit was a chilling reminder of some of the scary things that can happen when you play a contact sport. As far as the game goes, Bruins’ coach Claude Julien thinks the Bruins deserved better than the 2-1 loss they were handed.
- Here is Kevin Paul Dupont’s usual Sunday notes piece.
- The Flyers’ victory was definitely tainted by the Jones hit writes Tim Panaccio of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Meanwhile, Panaccio also has a piece this morning on the plans of new NHLPA boss Paul Kelly.
- The Sabres could have packed it in when they fell behind 3-2 in the third period, but instead the team turned it on and wound up coming back and defeating the Bolts 4-3 in overtime. In other Sabres’ news, it looks like Nolan Pratt will be joining the team in the next day or two.
- Pens’ goaltender Dany Sabourin came into last night’s game to replace a struggling Marc-Andre Fleury, after Fleury let in three early goals, and ended up giving the Penguins a chance to win; however, unfortunately for Pens’ fans the team lost 4-3 in a shootout to the Habs. Penguins’ veteran Gary Roberts missed last night’s game because he has the flu and was replaced in the lineup by youngster Tyler Kennedy.
- The Capitals had a twenty minute players-only meeting after their 4-3 loss to the Blues on Saturday night. Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post has the details of the Alexander Semin contract extension.
- Ilya Kovalchuk and Slava Kozlov led the Thrashers to their second victory on their current seven-game road trip last night with a win over the Blackhawks. Coach of the AHL’s Chicago Wolves John Anderson has proven he can win in the minors and is being considered for the head coaching position in Atlanta.
- The Hurricanes proved last night that rest is overrated writes Lorenzo Perez of the News Observer. Eric Cole was excited to get back into the Canes’ lineup last night after injuring his foot a week earlier while playing soccer during warmups.
- Tomas Vokoun’s return to Nashville turned out to be a letdown last night as the the veteran netminder was beat for the game-winning goal in the last minute of action. “We basically give games away, and we do it night after night,” said Vokoun after the game.
- As Pat Hickey tells us in this morning’s Montreal Gazette, size does matter, especially if you are Habs’ rookie netminder Carey Price. Hickey also has an interesting story about the “struggling” Sidney Crosby and the youngster’s ability to take criticism in stride.
- Apparently the Devils’ new arena was far less disappointing than the team’s play on the ice. Here are some sights and sounds from the new Prudential Center. In sad news, Colin White is not sure if he’ll be able to play hockey again after sustaining an eye injury 38 days ago.
- The Rangers were awful last night according to Larry Brooks of the NY Post. You can find Larry Brooks’ Sunday Slap Shots piece right here.
- Much of the Islanders’ impressive statistics went out the window after being blown out by the Hurricanes last night writes John Jeansonne of Newsday.
- Lightning coach John Tortorella had “no complaints” about the way his team played last night in their 4-3 overtime loss to the Sabres. The coach also had no complaints about his team’s disallowed goal late in the third period.
- It is fair to say that the Senators are home wreckers writes Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun. Here is Bruce Garrioch’s Sunday rumors piece.
- The Leafs proved they can hold a third period lead last night on Broadway writes Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star. Darcy Tucker has denied reports that his ACL is torn writes Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun. Meanwhile, Mark Bell is looking forward to finally returning to the Leafs’ lineup.
Here are the Western Conference morning papers:
- Alex Tanguay is heeding the advice of all the people around him and has decided to shoot the puck more often.
- The Blackhawks fell to below .500 last night after losing 3-2 to the Thrashers; Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune has the story. Winger Sergei Samsonov was a healthy scratch for last night’s game.
- Terry Frei of the Denver Post profiles new NHLPA boss Paul Kelly and the promise that goes along with his hiring. Frei’s colleague at the Post, Adrian Dater has the story of Jeff Jillson and the possibility that he will get into some NHL game action today for the Avalanche.
- Looks like a move to the fourth line was just what was needed to motivate a struggling Mike Modano opines Mike Heika in the Dallas Morning News.
- George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press has the story of Andres Lilja’s 11th career goal. (Writer’s note: You know it is a slow news day when…)
- If the Oilers want to start winning games they have to eliminate their bad giveaways. The team just committed too many errors to have a chance to win writes Jim Matheson in this morning’s Edmonton Journal.
- Once again, the Jackets stifled an opponent going into the third period protecting a lead writes Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch. The team’s successful penalty kill has been one of the reasons that the Jackets are three games above .500 for the first time in franchise history.
- The Kings’ impressive backstop Jason LaBarbera turned aside 34 of 35 shots to give the Kings the W over the Oilers.
- Didn’t take too long did it? Wild winger Marian Gaborik hurt his groin in practice and will miss tonight’s game versus Colorado. In other injury news for the Wild, Niklas Backstrom also was injured in practice and will miss tonight’s contests.
- Predators’ new goaltender Dan Ellis out-dueled the Predators’ former netminder Tomas Vokoun for a 4-3 victory last night.
- The Coyotes were defeated by the Stars, but Shane Doan reached a milestone with his 200th career goal.
- Craig Rivet says the Sharks have “far too many passengers” on their team right now, as the Sharks were defeated 2-1 by the Blue Jackets yesterday afternoon.
- Brad Boyes continued his offensive tear last night with two goals as the Blues upended the Capitals 4-3.
For Illegal Curve, I’m Richard Pollock.